Music

The Best Classic Punk Bands  

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3.1k votes 346 voters 7.6k views 227 items

When punk rock first emerged in New York City and London in the 1970s, the bands were some of the exciting and dangerous in the world. Now, years after those electrifying early days, it's hard to admit, but they now fall in the new category of classic punk bands. It may be weird to say, and with good reason since punk bands were supposed to burn out, but these groups have managed to become firmly entrenched in history with their contribution to punk rock music.

So, what groups can be considered the best classic punk bands? Starting at the beginning of punk, groups like the Sex Pistols, The Ramones and Dead Boys have been instrumental in making punk rock accessible to the masses, even if that wasn't the intention of the music. Thus, their legacy has outlived those particular bands time playing music, and can be considered in the pantheon of classic punk. Bands who should be on this list are punk icons and have influenced the artists of today.

This is a list of classic punk bands. Every band who should be on this list is considered a true giant in punk rock. If you think someone is missing, feel free to add them to this list. This list answers the questions "who are the best classic punk bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest classic punk musician ever?" It's up to you to determine who deserves to be on this list and near the top, so vote wisely. (227 items)
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list ordered by
1
Sex Pistols is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
shawnwalker added Rock music, Anarcho-punk, Punk rock
2
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Pop punk, Rock music, Classic Punk
3
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave
4
Dead Kennedys is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Sm2016376 added Psychobilly, Anarcho-punk, Skate punk
5
Misfits is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Horror punk, Heavy metal, Classic Punk
6
Black Flag is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Eugene Ramone added Heavy metal, Punk rock, Hardcore punk
7
Bad Brains is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Reggae
8
Sham 69 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Punk rock, Oi!
9
The Damned is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Eugene Ramone added Gothic rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock
10
Bad Religion is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
dan808 added Pop punk, Crossover thrash, Melodic hardcore
11
The Descendents is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added The Descendents
12
The Exploited is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Street punk
13
The Dead Boys is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Rock music, Classic Punk, Punk rock
14
Johnny Thunders & the Heartbre... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Classic Punk
15
Stiff Little Fingers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Punk rock
16
Agnostic Front is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Eugene Ramone added Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Street punk
17
Circle Jerks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Eugene Ramone added Rock music, Heavy metal, Alternative rock
18
The Varukers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Eugene Ramone added Crossover thrash, D-beat, Anarcho-punk
19
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Eugene Ramone added Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music
20
The Vibrators is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Eugene Ramone added Punk rock
21
U.K. Subs is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Eugene Ramone added Street punk, Pub rock, Punk rock
22
Minutemen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Eugene Ramone added Dance-punk, Experimental music, Alternative rock
23
Buzzcocks is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Eugene Ramone added Pop punk, New Wave, Power pop
24
The Adverts is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Punk rock
25
Abrasive Wheels is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Eugene Ramone added Punk rock